Past Projects

Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc. works closely with growers, research funding bodies (Hort Innovation) and research providers (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) to develop projects to lift productivity, improve production practices and improve quality. ASPG Inc. has been the service provider and or major collaborator for a number of past projects and these with their final project report are listed below.

ASPG Inc. gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Hort Innovation.

Sweetpotato Consumer Research (Insights to increasing consumption)

This report provides an evaluation of the behaviors and purchasing drivers of key sweetpotato consumers. The research was qualitative in nature. Methods used included focus groups, depth interviews and shop-a-longs. The report found that preferences amongst groups was varied, a primary catalyst for consumption within the established and senior couple group were the health benefits associated with sweetpotatoes. Awareness of sweetpotato was a relatively recent phenomenon with the sweetpotato being appreciated for its hedonic and time saving qualities.

To download and view the final project report in PDF format click the link below.

Evaluation Sweetpotato varieties to meet market needs

The Australian sweetpotato industry is currently dominated by a single cultivar, Beauregard. This reliance on a single Gold (skin and flesh) cultivar leaves the industry vulnerable to pest and disease incursions, or changing growing conditions such as global warming.

In 2010, Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc. collaborated with scientists from the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFFQ) and HIA (formerly HAL), to get new cultivars into the industry. Our project team collected 50 domestic and international cultivars, checked them for diseases, and removed any viruses we found. During the next 3 years, growers and scientists compared cultivars in detailed experiments and commercial-scale plantings eventually narrowing the field to the top 4-5 exciting new cultivars.

To download and view the final project report in PDF format click the link below

Integration of crop and soil insect management in sweetpotato

The project ran in parallel with an industry wide pest management extension development program arming growers with the knowledge necessary to implement whole of crop integrated management strategies and an extensive pest management research investigation into new pest management technology.

The extension program was focused on better equipping growers and stakeholders with the skills and abilities needed to take a whole of crop integrated pest management approach in sweetpotato farming systems. Improved pest management approaches, both between sweetpotato cropping periods and within the crop development period, were taught and demonstrated on farm.

New crop protection technologies were identified that target different stages of pest lifecycles using new application methodologies that are less disruptive to potential beneficial organisms in the sweetpotato farming system. Application technologies have been developed to improve the delivery of crop protectants into the sweetpotato root zone providing improved crop protection times and reducing dependence on large concentrations of soil incorporated insecticides needing to be applied prior to planting.

To view the video “Whole of Crop Integrated Pest Management Strategies” click on the following link

To download and view the final project report in PDF format click the link below.